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Business Editions - are they worth it?

  • Our guide to whether you should consider a business-specific company car
  • Tax and equipment levels explored - are they better value-for-money?
  • Three case studies included to illustrate our findings

A lot of the more popular manufacturers these days offer special editions aimed specifically at fleet drivers. They’re typically loaded with useful equipment but also crucially offer low monthly tax bills thanks to the fitment of efficient engines.

In this article we’re going to discover whether it’s actually worth considering one of these for your next company car by taking you through three of our favourites and laying out the differences between the ‘business’ model and the equivalent in the firm’s line-up.

BMW 3 Series

Why buy?

It’s no coincidence that pretty much every motoring title gave the 3 Series five stars. It’s incredibly good to drive, has a range of efficient yet punchy engines and gearboxes, and scores well on the safety front too. Its cabin is reserved yet functional and it’s all screwed together incredibly well too.

Company car trim: 320d EfficientDynamics Business

Equipment included: 16-inch wheels, heated leather seats, Business Media sat-nav, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, climate control, Bluetooth, 6.5-inch multimedia screen, automatic boot and cruise control.

Monthly tax*: £88

Equivalent model: 320d SE

Equipment included: 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, no sat-nav

Monthly tax*: £99

Verdict: The 3 Series is one of the best company cars out there, and the Business trim really does maximise your value for money in terms of monthly tax. The ultra-efficient engine means low CO2 emissions, which in turn lowers the cost. You also get a serious amount of kit thrown in, which further makes the Business model the one to pick.

Ford Mondeo

What is it?

Perhaps the most notorious of the company cars, this is the car that a whole demographic was named after. Tony Blair’s infamous ‘Mondeo Man’ comment perfectly described how ubiquitous the car was on the UK’s roads in the 90s, and with good reason. It continues to sell in large numbers thanks to its blend of practicality, dependability and safety. It drives very well too, boasting Ford’s trademark blend of excellent handling and supple ride comfort.

Company car trim: 2.0 TDCi Zetec Business Edition

Equipment included: touchscreen sat-nav, 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors.

Monthly tax*: £70

Equivalent model: 2.0 TDCi Edge

Equipment included: Bluetooth, air-conditioning, cruise control

Monthly tax*: £65

Verdict: While the Business Edition trim is £5 more per month, for that extra cash you do get a significant more equipment for your money. Moving up to a higher specification will cost you around £20 per month more to get the same kit, so we reckon the Business Edition is definitely the way to go.

Volvo S60

What is it?

It’s been around for a few years now but the S60 has seen some dramatic improvements, and it’s now available with high-tech engines which mean very low CO2 emissions. Of course, being a Volvo it’s a seriously safe car too and benefits from all of the firm’s know-how, scoring incredibly well in crash-testing along the way.

Company car trim: D4 Business Edition

Equipment included: LED daytime running lights, 16-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, cruise control, DAB digital radio, climate control and sat-nav.

Monthly tax*: £68

Equivalent model: n/a – Business Edition replaces entry-level ES trim

Equipment included: n/a

Monthly tax*: n/a

Verdict: The S60 is one of the best company cars out there, and here you can see why. The firm has chosen to replace its entry-level ES trim with a Business Edition which caters specifically for fleet drivers, so it has a very low P11d value and a very efficient ‘D4’ diesel engine which emits less than 100g/km of CO2 in some situations.

Conclusion:

Embrace the Business Edition. It’s obvious that manufacturers want to cater for fleet drivers and the special editions mentioned in this article are proof of that fact. They’re cheaper and come loaded with equipment, so there isn’t really a lot to complain about.